Road frame choice – which would you choose?

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  • Road frame choice – which would you choose?
  • geetee1972
    Member

    Looking to replace a steel frame that weighs 2.4kg frame and fork (1.9kg for the frame) with something lighter and more racey. Three options:

    Devinci Leo SL – carbon, frame weighs 930g and costs Β£1355 for frame and fork:

    Engima Extensor – Columbus XCR (equivalent to 953) fully custom built, frame weighs 1500g and costs Β£1785 (frame and fork) inc. a nice paint job

    Or alternatively another Enigma, this time in titanium, the Eclipse being 1400g frame only and Β£1250 frame and fork:

    The heart says the Extensor (with every fibre of its being!), the head says the Devinci is 30% lighter and 30% cheaper and still a looker.

    The Eclipse is the compromise metal option, being lighter and stiffer than the current streel but without breaking the bank.

    munrobiker
    Member

    I’d take some convincing to buy a road frame that weighs over 3lbs for more than about Β£200.

    IHN
    Member

    Extensor, but not with that paint job.

    Devinci looks gopping, and the Eclipse will just remind you that you didn’t buy the Extensor.

    And if you lose a pound the total weight’s the same πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    You can get a full custom 853 steel frame for about half the cost of that Columbus Enigma! And it’d probably ride as well…

    Personally though, I wouldn’t bother. Plenty of good looking yet cheap enough (but still decent quality) carbon frames around that will save you a chunk of cash.

    Or if you really want something different, buy the Ti Enigma. Despite the weight, it looks a relative bargain compared to the others!

    Shibboleth
    Member

    I paid roughly Extensor budget and got a CervΓ©lo R5 VWD. There are deals to be had and some really nice carbon frames to choose from in that price bracket.

    Personally, I’d always choose the most advanced and best performing material for a frame, so steel and ti wouldn’t even be on the shortlist.

    geetee1972
    Member

    And if you lose a pound the total weight’s the same

    Lost about 18 since Jan Simon! I’d like to drop another 20lbs. The weight loss has already made a huge difference to my riding.

    You can get a full custom 853 steel frame for about half the cost of that Columbus Enigma! And it’d probably ride as well…

    It would, but it would weigh about 300g more. Now I’m not saying that that is the deciding factor. It’s as much about ‘ownership’ as ride quality.

    Personally, I’d always choose the most advanced and best performing material for a frame, so steel and ti wouldn’t even be on the shortlist.

    Yes that’s what’s playing on my mind as well.

    mtbtomo
    Member

    I didn’t know Devinci were reknowned for their road frames (?), so if it had to be carbon, I’d either be choosing a more main stream brand or getting a chinese copy for whole lot less dosh.

    I don’t quite understand paying nearly Β£2k for a steel frame, however nice, so for me it would have to be 1) some carbon frame or other 2) the Ti Enigma

    geetee1972
    Member

    I didn’t know Devinci were reknowned for their road frames

    They aren’t but they have always made them and this one comes with a life time warranty and is reduced from Β£2k.

    Personally, I’d always choose the most advanced and best performing material for a frame, so steel and ti wouldn’t even be on the shortlist.

    There’s a couple of teams now using stainless steel for racing on – Genesis and Condor. If its good enough for them n all that.

    I’d get some sort of carbon thing if you want light and “racey”

    Cannondale/Giant/Scott/Canyon etc. etc.

    clubber
    Member

    If its good enough for them n all that.

    That’s what they want you to believe and exactly why they sponsor a team πŸ™‚

    clubber – Member

    If its good enough for them n all that.

    That’s what they want you to believe and exactly why they sponsor a team

    Yes, the same could be said of carbon or any bike component!

    mrmo
    Member

    Engima Extensior, it is the most advanced frame there afterall as well as the best looking, i would pick a different colour though.

    Premier Icon rickon
    Subscriber

    Work out what type of bike you actually want… what’s the purpose of the frame?

    Ti, steel and carbon have their own characteristics, the Devinci on paper looks more upright, with a much higher head tube and shorter ETT than the Enigmas.

    Do you know what ETT fits you best? 10mm can be the difference between feeling too stretched out or too upright.

    The steep seat tube angle on the Devinci may be a nice idea…

    Assuming that your not going to race at a high level the Extensior with out a doubt. I’ve been lusting after one for a few years now.

    Kuco
    Member

    Engima Extensor but not in that colour, but I already own an Enigma Ti ego so i’m slightly bias. Though that Devinvi is very nice looking for a carbon bike.

    Why those three? as rickon says, they are markedly different frames for different riding though you could do anything on them, they will suit some styles more than others. You could race F1 in a rally car and vice versa but you wont win in either…

    With a very borad sweeping brush, the Enigmas will be nice and comfy over long distances by virtue of the frame material, the DeVinci will be stiffer and handle better at speed.

    If you are looking for something that will last a lifetime and be perfect for audax/sportives and club rides, I’d go for the Eclipse but also look at the Lynskey Cooper.

    For fast road stuff, I’d get a Canyon Aeroad or a Cervelo S2, something like that but only because I know very little about DeVinci!…

    Whilst the Extensior will ride beautifully, its very expensive and unless you really something craftsman-esque and are prepared to accept the weight penalty, I cant see much more logic to buy it.

    clubber
    Member

    Alternate view – you don’t sound like an out and out racer so really you’re spending way more than you ‘need’ to and as such, you should just buy what you want/like rather than really trying to justify it. Think about them all, try and imagine which one, in three years time, you’ll still look forward to riding and not be looking at replacing.

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    Make sure you test any frame before you buy.

    Yes, carbon is lightweight, stiff as all hell and can make a lovely frame but the ride can be harsh also.

    I’d go for a really nice custom steel frame any day of the week and regardless of budget. Just love the way it rides, that zip and spring you get from a steel ride.

    That would then be ‘your’ frame and there wouldn’t be another like it.

    I have a custom 853. I told the guy who built it what I wanted from the frame i.e not a pure racer but a fast frame that could just eat the miles all day long and that is exactly what I got. Give me that over carbon bling any day.

    Weight doesn’t bother me, other than my own. The cheapest way for me to get a lighter ride is to eat less πŸ™‚

    Cheers

    Danny B

    clubber
    Member

    Straight out of the bike press with the stereotypes πŸ˜†

    i’ve had lots of nice road bikes (colnago, top-of-the-range cinelli and most recently a giant tcr advanced), but if i was going again from scratch, i would look at a spooky:-

    http://www.spookybikes.com/custom

    you will get exactly what you want and it will last forever…

    Shibboleth
    Member

    Yes, carbon is lightweight, stiff as all hell and can make a lovely frame but the ride can be harsh also.

    I’d go for a really nice custom steel frame any day of the week and regardless of budget. Just love the way it rides, that zip and spring you get from a steel ride.

    This sounds like someone that’s read a lot of reviews but not actually ridden many bikes.

    Carbon can be built to feel like ANY frame material, but they generally build them to have huge lateral rigidity as well as a degree of vertical compliance for comfort.

    The best carbon frames get it just about spot on, and, having ridden a few, I really think we’re almost at the pinnacle of frame manufacture. All that’s left now is to develop the aero concept of frames like the S2 or Venge and combine them with the low weight of frames like the R5 or Supersix Evo.

    Giant are making big inroads with the Propel, there will be a few more in next couple of years…

    b45her
    Member

    there are plenty of excellent quality plastic frames for less than half the price of the ones OP mentioned, steel frames are for old people with trouser clips and Sam browne belts.

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    At Shibboleth – note I said to test ride any potential purchase.

    To quote my own post – ‘…can be a lovely ride but the ride can be harsh also’.

    There is no denying that some carbon frames ride harsh but by no means all of them do.

    I just think there is something more special about sitting down with your frame builder, telling them exactly what you want and getting something that fits like a glove.

    That’s where my money would go but agree its not for everyone.

    @b45her – I’m not old, don’t wear trouser clips or a Same Browne although I do ride Brooks saddles (but would on any bike!).

    Cheers

    Danny B

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Geometry first, tube profiles second, material third.

    Kuco
    Member

    You could always get Enigma to cutom build the frame.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    I do ride Brooks saddles

    Then you must choose steel or titanium. Carbon is verboten. It’d be like wearing lycra shorts with brogues.

    Shibboleth
    Member

    Geometry first, tube profiles second, material third.

    I’d have to disagree with that completely. Sure, pick the geometry that suits your intended use, but at long as the size is correct, any frame can be made to fit any rider.

    Custom build is a complete con. There’s no “fixed” riding position for any one rider – my position adapts throughout the season – so there’s absolutely no point paying a premium for someone to build a bespoke frame other than snob value.

    And why on earth would you let tube profiles dictate your choice?

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Sure, pick the geometry that suits your intended use, but at long as the size is correct, any frame can be made to fit any rider.

    Well, for a start that’s entirely untrue if you’re at the ends of conventional sizing ranges. There are a lot of frames out there that simply can’t be made to fit me.

    Geometry surely comes first even if there’s a decent range of geometry that suits. For me it’s a narrow range, for people of more average height and build it may be wider, but it has to fit and there’s no sense in buying touring geometry for exciting handling or TT geometry for audax riding.

    there’s absolutely no point paying a premium for someone to build a bespoke frame other than snob value.

    Or unless you can’t get an off-the-peg frame with the geometry (and braze-ons) that you want.

    And why on earth would you let tube profiles dictate your choice?

    Because tube profile has the biggest influence on stiffness.

    you dont need to test ride a frame before you buy it, thats overkill if you actually do some research and speak to people. Unless you are really lucky You wont get a full ride and ten minutes up and down the street doesnt really tell you much about a bike.

    Also, if you are going down the custom route, you cant really test a frame. Say you want a Cervelo S2 as an example, stockists arent that plentiful to begin with and the chances of them having a bike in your your size built up are low. When I bought mine I hunted around and found a 54cm bike in Bath which I tried before deciding that was too small and then bought a 56cm frame.

    If you go for carbon, I’d look at the Dolan Ares too, Pro level frame and seriously god value for money…

    Definition of stereotype:
    A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing

    Not necessarily incorrect however πŸ˜‰

    Shibboleth
    Member

    Well, for a start that’s entirely untrue if you’re at the ends of conventional sizing ranges. There are a lot of frames out there that simply can’t be made to fit me.

    Why? What unique requirements do you have?

    there’s no sense in buying touring geometry for exciting handling or TT geometry for audax riding.

    πŸ™„ Which is exactly why I said buy the right bike for your intended use.

    Because tube profile has the biggest influence on stiffness.

    If frame stiffness is high on your list of requirements, then there is no other option apart from carbon. Unless you don’t mind getting a battering, in which case buy a cheap alloy frame.

    To the OP, if I was shopping in your budget at the moment, I’d have a look at Onix Bikes. They’re local to me, developed in conjunction with Rob Hayles and they have a fleet of demo bikes available. The RH Pro is a belting frame…

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Personally, the cheapest one, as it’s a road bike.
    This video sells it well too
    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjCgCPkNhb4[/video]

    DCF man.. it’s got “intuition”! πŸ˜†

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Why? What unique requirements do you have?

    My seat position is with the saddle as far back as possible on a 20mm layback post with a 72deg seat angle. Most frames have seat angles steep enough to prevent me getting that position.

    Which is exactly why I said buy the right bike for your intended use.

    Well, yes, we seem to be agreeing that geometry comes first and foremost, yes? If it’s not going to fit perfectly or your weight is in the wrong place or the handling isn’t right then it’s a no-go, right?

    If frame stiffness is high on your list of requirements, then there is no other option apart from carbon. Unless you don’t mind getting a battering, in which case buy a cheap alloy frame.

    Sorry, but IME that’s complete tosh. I’ve got an aluminium frame which is plenty stiff enough and is beautifully comfortable over long distances. Comfort is far more about getting position and weight-bearing right than any microscopic vertical deflections of a triangulated structure, IME.

    Shibboleth
    Member

    My seat position is with the saddle as far back as possible on a 20mm layback post with a 72deg seat angle.

    Why?

    Well, yes, we seem to be agreeing that geometry comes first and foremost, yes? If it’s not going to fit perfectly or your weight is in the wrong place or the handling isn’t right then it’s a no-go, right?

    Geometry for the purpose. The geometry for the person is dictated by all those variable bits – saddle height, stem length, bar height/width etc.

    It sounds like you’re trying to make the wrong sized frame fit you.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Why?

    I dunno, I’m quite tall, maybe I have freaky femurs, or maybe I just like it that way or whatever. It’s just the position I’ve ended up with after a few years of road riding instead of MTBing. It’s not like I chose to make buying a bike a massive pain in the backside – if I could get on with a 73deg seat then, trust me, I would, it’d make my next purchase a lot easier and cheaper πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    It sounds like you’re trying to make the wrong sized frame fit you.

    Well, I’ve never once seen a frame with a seat tube slacker than 72deg, so where do I go?

    Kuco
    Member
    Shibboleth
    Member

    It seems rather strange that Pro-Tour teams can hand a load of off-the-peg framesets to a team of riders, covering every body-shape from wispy little climbers to big, powerful sprinters via lanky time-trialists and brick shithouse rouleurs and they can all get a perfect fit with little more than a few stem-lengths and bar profiles.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Alternatively, maybe only riders who fit a standard frame sizes ever get chosen to ride for Pro-Tour teams πŸ˜‰

    fasthaggis
    Member

    To the OP .
    If fit was not an issue with any of the three frames,I would choose the Devinci .

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    It seems rather strange that Pro-Tour teams can hand a load of off-the-peg framesets to a team of riders

    You sure? The first one I looked up was Magnus Backstedt, who – at 6’4″ – is a whisker shorter than me. I’m sure there are plenty more.

    Backstedt isn’t your typical rider though, and so required a custom build. Getting a bike to fit such a tall frame requires special attention to detail.

    Shibboleth
    Member

    You sure? The first one I looked up was Magnus Backstedt, who – at 6’4″ – is a whisker shorter than me. I’m sure there are plenty more.

    A) Viner are a specialist custom frame manufacturer, so it’s in their interest to say they could custom-build a frame for an “atypical” rider.

    B) If he’d ridden for a team that rode Cannondale for example, they would just have given him a 60cm frame off the shelf. Or a 63 if that wasn’t big enough.

    C) 6’4″ isn’t unusually big.

    b45her
    Member

    rider sponsored by a company that builds custom frames needs a custom frame. am i the only person that is not at all shocked by this. πŸ™„

    Premier Icon rickon
    Subscriber

    I love how quickly this got off-topic πŸ™‚

    So… which frame, given that the OP wants Steel, Ti or Carbon.

    Or – OP, are you after confirmation of the one you really want?

    You could even buy a full bike, and sell all your old kit instead? There’s good deals abound on full 2012 bikes at the moment.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    a) OK, fair enough, didn’t realise that was a poor example – my lack of familiarity.
    b) Perhaps so, but then – as you say – 6’4″ isn’t unusually big.
    c) Was kind of my point.

    Anyhoo, from my point of view it doesn’t really matter. I’ve tried moving my seat forward and I can’t get on with it, so we’ll just have to accept that plenty of frames just won’t work for me and so “any frame can be made to fit anyone” just doesn’t hold water. (Don’t forget to add in other criteria in most cases – like wanting to fit mudguards, perhaps – which can narrow down the choice significantly. My summer frame is as good as a perfect fit for me, but not many bikes that take full guards would be.) If you think I’m riding any sort of distance on a Genesis, for instance, which use a 74deg seat angle, then you can think again πŸ™‚

    I’m guessing the OP’s probably not got the same issue though, so apologies for wandering OT.

    Just get whatever you want, needs are for poor people.

    Yes a pro might need a super stiff race frame, but if Brompton rode up with a fistfull of dollars* you can bet that Sky would be extolling the virtues of the folding frames in allowing quick packing away at the need of the stage and therefore more relaxed transitions and how Brompton understood their marginal gains philosophy perfectly with their folding bikes.

    *roughly enough to compensate them for not winning anything except the Bompton world championships.

    I want one of these, it’d be used for mostly commuting and relaxed centuries, but that doesn’t change the basic fact I want it.

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